MAY ROUNDUP: The BIG Carers’ Tea Break gets off to a flying start!

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Get the kettle on! The BIG Carers’ Tea Break – a summer 2016 campaign led by mental health carers and supported by Hafal, Bipolar UK, Diverse Cymru, Carers Wales and Crossroads Mid & West Wales – is up and running!

Our summer 2016 campaign to celebrate and support the work of mental health carers across Wales has already seen events in Neath Port Talbot, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire – and a BIG Carers’ Tea Break will be coming to a venue near you very soon!

  • BIG launch

The BIG Carers’ Tea Break was launched at the Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay on 12th May.

Guests at the event heard from The BIG Carers’ Tea Break panel members about the aims of the campaign and enjoyed afternoon tea while meeting mental health carers and professionals from across Wales. The event was supported by AMs Mark Drakeford, John Griffiths, Rebecca Evans and Leanne Wood, and MP Craig Williams.

The campaign was formally launched by Albert Heaney, Director of Social Services and Integration, Welsh Government, who said: “This excellent campaign will give carers the opportunity to get together, socialise, support each other and have your say on the way services are planned and delivered for the person that they care for.

“I welcome this excellent campaign and commend you for it. I would like once again to thank the many thousands of carers across Wales for your commitment.”

  • 22 BIG Carers’ Tea Breaks

Following the launch at the Millennium Centre, the campaign will see mental health carers in each of the 22 counties come together for a BIG Carers’ Tea Break throughout the summer.

In May we enjoyed BIG Carers’ Tea Breaks in Neath Port Talbot, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire.

  • On 13th May mental health carers in Neath Port Talbot were delighted to welcome Stephen Kinnock MP and the Mayor and Mayoress of Port Talbot to their BIG Carers’ Tea Break, and to enjoy some massage therapy (see pics).
  • On 17th May mental health carers from Carmarthenshire enjoyed high tea and some well-deserved pampering from Lush and The Body Shop in Carmarthen Bowling Club (see pics).
  • On 27th May mental health carers in Pembrokeshire enjoyed high tea in the Giltar Hotel, Tenby, as well as enjoying pamper sessions and getting key tips from local carers’ organisations at an information marketplace (see pics).

In June the BIG Carer’s Tea Breaks will take place at:-

  • 3rd June: Ceredigion
  • 10th June: Ynys Môn
  • 17th June: Flintshire
  • 24th June: Conwy

See the full schedule of BIG Carers’ Tea Breaks here.

  • Carer’s Assessments in focus

An important part of The BIG Carers’ Tea Break campaign is to raise awareness among mental health carers of the new Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 which came into force in April 2016 and which gives carers in Wales new rights to have their needs assessed. It means the local council must:

  • find out what care the person wants to offer
  • find out what the carer wants for their own life
  • work out what services would help them.

It also means the Carer’s Assessment must look at:

  • what work the carer does or wants to do
  • any learning or leisure activities that the carer does or wants to do.

In support of our campaign we have developed a Carer’s Assessment Request Form which provides mental health carers with a template which they can use to request a Carer’s Assessment – or an updated one if they have had one in the past – and ensure that it comprehensively deals with their needs. Download the form here.

That’s it for now! We’ll update you again at the end of June, but to keep posted about The BIG Carers’ Tea Break campaign please visit hafal.org/bigcarersteabreak/ or follow Hafal’s Twitter and Facebook pages.